The late Steve Jobs himself wasn’t known to be a big fan of a smaller tablet, so now that it’s come to reality, all eyes are on Apple’s iPad Mini. As another one of the company’s not-so-well-kept secrets made its debut today, we turn to the fun task of finally learning the much-conjectured specifications of the iPad Mini, and what makes it an attractive choice for people used to the larger regular iPad.
We kept up by checking out Engadget’s great liveblog and gdgt.com’s as well. Both of which updated constantly as the speakers took to the stage, including all that breathless excitement. The event kicked off at 1 p.m. EST with Tim Cook talking about the successes of the new iPhone 5, iOS6 and what’s going on with iBooks and such, before Paul Schiller took the stage to introduce a new 13-inch Macbook Pro.
Finally at about 1:50 EST, Paul Schiller comes on stage to tease the mini iPad, and after discussing the fourth generation iPad, he said: “So what else can we do to help customers find even more users for iPad, to use them in places they’ve never imagined?” a new, smaller iPad. And cue applause.
Here’s what we learned:
• Yes, it’s called the iPad Mini, it comes in black in white, and you can hold it one hand. It’s 7.2mm thick, or as thin as a pencil.
• It’s 0.68 pounds, half as light as a fouth-generation iPad.
• The number that kept being bandied about in regards to the iPad mini before the official launch was the expected 7-inch display. And at 7.9 inches,t hat number was close. The iPad 2 is 9.7 inches, but the Mini has the same resolution of 1,024 x 768.
• The battery life is still 10 hours, so that’s good. Dual-core A5 processor, FaceTime HD camera and 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back with 1080p recording.
* A new SmartCover, without metal hinge this time, in five available colors. It basically features the body and the glass, with a diamond-cut chamfer around the edge, like the iPhone 5 and new Touch.
• 16GB is the smallest configuration with WiFi, priced at $329, and iPad 2 stays around, starting at $399.
• 32GB mini is $429, 64GB for $519. $130 each additional for LTE connectivity.
• You can preorder the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad starting on Oct. 26. WiFi versions ship on Nov. 2, cellular versions shipping two weeks later.